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The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by…
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The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

by Alan Bradley

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Flavia de Luce (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,081514884 (3.86)1 / 810
  1. 143
    Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh (lorin77)
  2. 111
    The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly (foggidawn)
  3. 112
    The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King (clif_hiker, 47degreesnorth)
  4. 81
    The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (chinquapin)
  5. 158
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (nysmith)
  6. 94
    The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (lauranav)
    lauranav: Both show relationships and point of view of a young girl.
  7. 50
    Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Though Sweetness is more of a traditional mystery, it shares with Where'd You Go, Bernadette an endearing, precocious, and entertaining young narrator who pieces together clues from the adult world to solve a mystery. Character interactions are delightfully, humorously depicted.… (more)
  8. 73
    I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (inbedwithbooks)
    inbedwithbooks: Deze twee boeken vertonen veel gelijkenis, door de hoofdpersonages, nl.jonge rijke betweterige meisjes.
  9. 51
    We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (citygirl)
    citygirl: Castle is much darker and Flavia is more adorable than creepy (Merricat is quite creepy), but if you're interested in unusual young protagonists, with a very particular world view, try these.
  10. 51
    The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet by Reif Larsen (raizel)
    raizel: Both stories about brilliant and quirky children were recommended at the same time by my daughter. T.S. Spivet is the more real character and the book is beautifully written. Yes, T.S. Spivet is a boy, but I'm not sexist enough to let that bother me.
  11. 30
    The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Flavia de Luce has a similar voice as Enola and both are young, precocious and underestimated detectives.
  12. 20
    Hotel Paradise by Martha Grimes (y2pk)
    y2pk: Pre-teen girl investigating adult crimes, while putting up with her sometimes-strange family and home life. Emma Graham also appears in two other books, Cold Flat Junction and Belle Ruin. They should be read in order.
  13. 10
    The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey (47degreesnorth)
  14. 33
    The Little Friend by Donna Tartt (dara85)
  15. 00
    A Man in Uniform by Kate Taylor (starfishian)
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English (511)  German (4)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Catalan (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (523)
Showing 1-5 of 511 (next | show all)
NOTES:

Chapter 1 is where we learn that/get:

a. Ophelia is the only one of the de Luce sisters to remember their mother, Harriet.
b. Harriet is said to have died in a mountaineering accident when Flavia was a year old.
c. Ophelia's pearls belonged to Harriet. (She's the only sister to refer to her as 'Mummy'.
d. Why Buckshaw is a Georgian house instead of an Elizabethan one.
e. Why Antony added the west and William de Luce added the east wings.
f. A description of Tar de Luce's chemistry lab on the top floor of the east wing.
g. How Flavia got her love of chemistry
h. Flavia mentioning fish scales making up lipstick [apparently, the shimmering ones, anyway].
i. All the de Luce sisters have spectacles, but Ophelia won't wear hers and Flavia's are little more than window glass.

Chapter 2 is where we learn that/get:

a. A description of Flavia's bedroom, which is in the east wing.
b. A description of Dogger's prisoner of war experiences during World War II (well, Mrs. Mullet's whispered description of them).
c. Flavia possesses Harriet's acute sense of hearing
d. The British name for what we call 'Daylight Savings Time' is 'Summer Time'.
e. That the de Luces all hate Mrs. Mullet's custard pies and what excuses they make for asking her to take them to her husband.

Chapter 3 is where we learn that/get:

a. The phone number for the police is Bishop's Lacey two two one (spoken, not dialed). This is where Flavia thinks of Sherlock Holmes and a coincidence.
b. A description of Inspector Hewitt.
c. Flavia gives us some of the antiquated names in Tar de Luce's copy of Elements of Chemistry by Antoine Lavoisier. [King's yellow is now called arsenic trisulfide. I wonder if the old name inspired the title of Robert W. Chambers' The King in Yellow.]
  JalenV | Feb 5, 2016 |
An amusing and precocious heroine, an entertaining story. Wondering where they shelve it in the library, with the YA, the mysteries, or the YA for for adults, LOL. Will have to read more. ( )
  MaureenCean | Feb 2, 2016 |
Flavian is totally cool, love this series, can't wait to read the next one ( )
  crazeedi73 | Jan 30, 2016 |
Flavian is totally cool, love this series, can't wait to read the next one ( )
  crazeedi73 | Jan 30, 2016 |
Flavian is totally cool, love this series, can't wait to read the next one ( )
  crazeedi73 | Jan 30, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 511 (next | show all)
It's a rare pleasure to follow Flavia as she investigates her limited but boundless-feeling world. And it's nice to know she'll be back.
 
Impressive as a sleuth and enchanting as a mad scientist (“What a jolly poison could be extracted from the jonquil”), Flavia is most endearing as a little girl who has learned how to amuse herself in a big lonely house.
 

» Add other authors (30 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bradley, Alanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Entwistle, JayneNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leonardo, CatherineCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Montgomery, JoeCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Unless some sweetness at the bottom lie, who cares for all the crinkling of the pie?

--William King, The Art of Cookery (1708)
Dedication
For Shirley
First words
It was as black in the closet as old blood.
Quotations
That means King George the Sixth, and King George the Sixth is not a frivolous man.
It is not unknown for fathers with a brace of daughters to reel off their names in order of birth when summoning the youngest, and I had long ago become accustomed to being called "Ophelia Daphne Flavia, damn it."
It occurred to me that Heaven must be a place where the library is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. No... eight days a week.
My particular passion was poison. (chapter 1)
"I have forgot much, Cynara! Gone with the wind,
...
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! In my fashion"

It's from his Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae Sub Regno Cynarae. Perhaps you know of it? I shook my head. It's very beautiful, I said.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Blurbers
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn't. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.

In his wickedly brilliant first novel, Alan Bradley introduces one of the most singular and engaging heroines in recent fiction — eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison. It is the summer of 1950 — and a series of inexplicable events has struck Buckshaw, the decaying English mansion that Flavia's family calls home. A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath. For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw.

An enthralling mystery, a piercing depiction of class and society, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is a masterfully told take of deceptions — and a rich literary delight.

-----------------------------

For very-nearly-eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, the discovery of a dead snipe on the doorstep of Buckshaw, the crumbling de Luce country seat, was a marvellous mystery — especially since this particular snipe had a rather rare stamp neatly impaled on its beak. Even more astonishing was the effect of the dead bird on her stamp-collector father, who appeared to be genuinely frightened. Soon Flavia discovers something even more shocking in the cucumber patch and it's clear that the snipe was a bird of very ill omen indeed.

As the police descend on Buckshaw, Flavia decides it is up to her to piece together the clues and solve the puzzle. Who was the man she heard her father arguing with? What was the snipe doing in England at all? Who or what is the Ulster Avenger? And, most peculiar of all, who took a slice of Mrs Mullet's unspeakable custard pie that had been cooling by the window...?

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It is the summer of 1950, and at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, young Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, is intrigued by a series of inexplicable events. For Flavia, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw.… (more)

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